Tag Archives: gaslighting

Another Weapon In The Narcissistic Arsenal

One weapon narcissists use is to tell their victims “I know you better than you know yourself.”  While it may sound rather innocuous, that phrase, especially when said by a parent to a child, can be devastating to the self esteem.

My mother said this to me my entire childhood.  I ended up feeling like I was stupid (how can a person not know themselves after all?!) & like I had to look to her to know what I liked & didn’t like, my opinions on things, what I should & shouldn’t do.  I was so insecure, & partly because of that stupid phrase!  Even now, in my mid 40’s, I have issues sometimes with figuring out what I really like & don’t like.

Have you heard this insidious phrase from your narcissistic parent too?  If so, you’re not alone!

The key to letting go of the insecurity caused by hearing this phrase is to pay attention to yourself.  Get to know you.  The real you, the person God made you to be & not the person your narcissistic parent tried to make you into.  Notice how you truly feel about everything.

Chances are, when you first start to do this, you’ll feel some guilt, like you’re going against your narcissistic parent’s wishes.  That is normal.  Just remind yourself that you are allowed to be an individual.  God created you to be an individual.  You were made to be you, not some cheap imitation of you & certainly not some lump of clay molded by a narcissistic parent only concerned with their wishes.

As you begin to know yourself, your narcissistic parent will disapprove.  Don’t let that disapproval discourage you. The disapproval doesn’t mean you’re wrong or a bad person at all!  It means the narcissist is disappointed in you for not continuing to allow her to control you.  If your narcissistic parent attempts to make you feel bad, wrong, guilty or ashamed because you’ve changed, pretend you don’t notice.  Ignore the comments!  You do what is best for you, NOT the narcissist!

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Ways Narcissists Shift The Blame From You To Them & How To Cope

As anyone with experience with a narcissist knows, they accept no blame for anything they have done.  Ever.  You can confront them about something terrible they have done, then later walk away wondering why you just apologized to them instead of them apologizing to you.  This post will help you identify some of the common blame shifting behaviors so you won’t fall for them in the future.

Probably the most common thing that narcissists do to shift the blame is to play the victim.  This is especially common with covert narcissists, but overt ones will do it as well.  The narcissist will turn your legitimate concern around in such a way that you feel as if you’re being too hard on that person, overreacting or being too sensitive.  After all, they never had any idea that what they said or did would hurt you, they say.  Or, they may bring up some (probably imaginary) thing you did in the past, claiming that is abusive, & turning the topic of the conversation to that incident rather than your topic.

Closely related to playing the victim is the guilt trip done to shift blame.  They may tell you about something painful that they experienced in their childhood or say things like, “Why are you yelling at me?  I didn’t mean to hurt you!”  Before you know it, you’re comforting them even though they hurt you!

They often accuse their victims of bad or even abusive behavior, but especially during the times when they are confronted.  This is an effective way to shift the blame from the narcissist to the victim.  My mother did this to me when I was growing up.  She said I made her do something bad to me because of how terrible I was acting.  On my seventeenth birthday, she destroyed my gifts that my now ex husband gave me, then made me clean up the mess she made.  She said because I was “acting so snotty”, which is what made her destroy those gifts.  The truth was when I took the gifts from school to her car at the end of my day, I was terrified what she was going to do to me because she hated my ex, & was quiet.  I wasn’t “acting snotty”- I was acting terrified!

Narcissists also minimize the feelings of their victims to shift blame to the victim.  Basically, this shifts the blame to the victim for how they responded to the abuse rather than the abuse itself.  They may say things like “You’re too sensitive,”  “You’re crazy,” or “I was just joking!”

When you’re talking with a narcissist & these things happen, then you can be certain they are attempting to shift the blame off of themselves.   The best thing you can do is to redirect the conversation back to the original topic, as calmly as you can.  Wait on the narcissist to finish whatever she is saying, then calmly say something, “Ok, but that isn’t what we were talking about.  We will address that later.  We’re discussing ____ at the moment.”  You may have to do that a few times, but keep doing it.  If that doesn’t work, try saying, “We’ll talk about this another time when you are ready to talk,” then leave or hang up the phone, & approach her another time in the very near future.

Unfortunately with narcissists, there is never an easy answer.  Doing what I suggested may not work at all for you in the sense of being able to hash out the problem at hand.  However, the good thing is it will let that narcissist know that you aren’t going to be fooled by the blame shifting nor will you be pushed around.

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Things Adult Children Of Narcissists Do Because Of Their Parents

Being raised by a narcissistic parent or two causes a person to act differently than people raised by healthy, functional parents.  Aside from the most obvious common problem, C-PTSD, being raised by narcissists creates certain unique behaviors that almost every victim exhibits.  This post addresses those behaviors.

 

Being afraid to say no.  Narcissists don’t allow their children to have boundaries.  “No” can be met with abuse- name calling, scathing criticisms, guilt trips & even physical violence.  Children use “yes” as a survival skill as a result.  They learn early in life that it’s easier to do whatever their narcissistic parent wants than to say “no” & face the consequences.  This behavior becomes such a habit that it is often carried into adulthood.   While it served a good purpose as a child, it no longer does as an adult.  Being a healthy adult means having healthy boundaries.  You need to start asking yourself why are you saying yes?  Are you saying yes because you want to or because you’re afraid of disappointing someone if you say no?  Start saying no when you’re saying yes when you don’t want to.  Some people won’t like it, but one thing to keep in mind- healthy, good, caring people respect boundaries.  Users & abusers don’t.  If someone gets upset with you for having a healthy boundary, that isn’t the kind of person you need in your life.

 

Apologizing too much.  Narcissistic parents blame their children for every single thing, so their children learn to apologize for everything, whether or not it’s their fault.  This dysfunctional survival skill also carries into adulthood, & needs to stop.  When you feel the urge to apologize, pray.  Ask God is this truly your fault?  Should you apologize or are you only doing so out of habit?

 

Being unable to express emotions in a healthy way.  Narcissists can’t handle the emotions of other people, including their children.  They force their children to stifle their emotions, often by shaming them for having them.  This tells children their emotions are bad.  To cope, may continue to repress their emotions while others express them in inappropriate ways such as getting angrier than is appropriate for the situation.  It can be hard, I know, but you need to learn to get in touch with your emotions & give them a healthy outlet.  Ask God to help you to do this, because it will get scary, especially showing anger after a lifetime of stifling it.  Journaling can be helpful, too- seeing things in writing brings clarity.

 

Not trusting your intuition & perception.  Constant gaslighting is possibly the most cruel form of abuse there is, & also a favorite of narcissists.  Gaslighting makes a person second guess everything about themselves- their instincts, perception, feelings, thoughts- because it makes a victim feel that they are wrong about everything or even crazy.  The fact is though that you aren’t wrong or crazy- you are FINE!  The gaslighting made you doubt these things but it doesn’t mean that they are actually wrong or flawed somehow.  Your instincts, perceptions, feelings & thoughts are just fine.  They are trustworthy!  Ask God to help you to learn to trust yourself.  Pay attention, too.  You’ll see that the more you you’re right about little things, the more you learn to trust yourself.

 

Over explaining yourself.  Narcissistic parents demand their children behave in certain ways that are acceptable to them, no matter how their child feels about it.  When the child fails to meet the impossibly high expectations, the parent demands an explanation for the failure.  One more dysfunctional survival skill children of narcissists learn is to explain anything & everything, & again, this often continues into adulthood.  It feels strange at first to stop over explaining yourself, but if you stick with it, it gets more comfortable as time goes on.  Always remember, not everyone needs an explanation for what you do.

 

These behaviors, although dysfunctional, don’t have to be permanent.  With prayer & work, you can make healthy changes.

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Ways Narcissists Silence Their Victims

Silence is one of any narcissist’s best weapons.  They do NOT want their victims to talk to anyone about what the narcissist is doing, nor do they want their victim to feel safe enough to confront them on their abusive behavior.  To prevent those things from happening, they use various ways to silence victims.

 

An extremely common tactic narcissists use is gaslighting.  If a narcissist can convince a victim that something happened differently than they remember or it didn’t even happen in the first place, the victim won’t discuss the event.  Why would they?  Convincing victims that they don’t remember things right or are making up some wild stories will keep them quiet.  They feel crazy enough- why should they say things that would make them look crazy too?

 

Shaming is an effective weapon to create silence as well.  If a narcissist can convince a victim that the victim is a terrible person, that victim will be quiet.  That person feels as if she or he is stupid or crazy or even unworthy to “burden” other people.  A person who carries shame is a quiet person.  I know- I have been there.  Granted, I’m quiet by nature but prior to learning about shame, it was much worse.  For example, I felt there was something deeply wrong with me for being upset about the terrible things my ex did to me, so I kept most things to myself.  As a result, when we separated, no one cared to hear my side- everyone took his side with only a couple of exceptions.  They never heard me complain before, so they figured everything must have been OK between us.

 

Another facet of shaming is when a narcissist is confronted about their behavior & states that behavior wouldn’t upset her.  She has no idea why you’re upset. My mother did this one to me regarding her nastiness about one of my cats.  Chester is a big cat, but he’s very muscular  My mother called him fat more times than I can count.  I’d told her to stop being so mean repeatedly with no results.  Eventually I complained about it to my father, who told her what I said.  She called me & said she had no idea why I’d be upset.  She actually said, “If someone called me fat, I’d just tell them they were right.  I certainly wouldn’t be angry about it!”  I knew immediately that statement was supposed to make me feel shame for being angry with her.  It didn’t work.  It just made me angry she would try such a ridiculous tactic.

 

Projection is also effective for silencing a victim.  When a narcissist accuses a victim of some terrible behavior, it usually stuns a person.  Most people will assume the narcissist is right, examine their behavior & try to make improvements, at least until they learn about projection & understand what is being done to them.

 

Triangulation is another effective way narcissists silence victims.  If a narcissist can convince their victim that other people would think, feel or respond as the narcissist, that makes the victim feel isolated.  The victim may think he or she is crazy, stupid, oversensitive & a host of other awful things.  Who would want to talk when they feel that way?

 

Invalidation is another excellent way to silence a victim.  Invalidation basically says that every single thing about you is wrong, flawed & even crazy.  It makes a person feel as if they cannot trust their own thoughts, feelings or perceptions.  No one who feels that messed up is going to feel able to confront a narcissist or tell others that they are being abused.  In fact, invalidation makes people feel as if they are NOT being abused, & they are completely wrong & crazy for thinking such a thing in the first place.

 

Creating anxiety & fear in a victim also makes the person quiet.  If a victim is afraid of another, that victim isn’t going to want to do anything that may provoke that person’s anger.  In fact, they will do anything to avoid that anger.  That often includes refusing to confront their abuser or tell anyone about the abuse.  After all, what if the person they tell confronts the abuser?  It’s much safer to keep the abuse a secret.

 

Narcissists also love to wear a person down to make them easier to force into silence.  They can do this by sleep deprivation if they live with a victim or by harassment if not.  They constantly call, email or text.  The sheer volume of calls, emails & texts can wear a person down.  It takes a great deal of strength to ignore your phone’s constant ringing or alerts to receiving new emails & texts.  It probably doesn’t sound so bad, but I can tell you, being on the receiving end of it, it really is stressful & exhausting!

 

No one can forget a narcissistic rage.   These happen when a narcissist receives a narcissistic injury of some sort, which basically is a blow to their self-esteem.  Talking to others about the narcissist’s abusive ways or confronting a narcissist about them is definitely a narcissistic injury & will result in a rage.  The rage of an overt narcissist is usually loud & vicious.  Name calling & cursing aren’t above them.  The rage of a covert narcissist is much quieter, & it involves the silent treatment & scathing criticisms to make you feel intense guilt.  A person would do about anything to avoid this rage, & that includes suffering in silence, not telling anyone about the abuse they endure or confronting the narcissist about it.

 

Diversion is another excellent way to silence victims.  Anyone who has confronted a narcissist has no doubt seen this in action.  The conversation starts out with a victim stating that they have a problem with the narcissist’s behavior, & it ends up discussing something entirely different.  Often, it ends up with the narcissist accusing the victim of some awful or even abusive behavior, & the victim apologizing.  The original topic was abandoned, & no resolution was made.  Sometimes diversion isn’t so obvious though.  Sometimes, the narcissist simply changes the subject & continues to ramble on & on, leaving the victim so frustrated that they give up.

 

Lastly smear campaigns are very commonly used. If a narcissist can’t stop you from confronting them or telling others what they have done to you, they will not hesitate to tell everyone they meet what a terrible person you are. They’ll have plenty of evidence to prove their point, too, even if they have to lie about it. If they can discredit you, they know others won’t believe what you say. It also is revenge. You made them look bad, so they are returning the favor.

When these things happen, remember that these are simply tactics that are supposed to silence you.  Don’t give in!  You have every right to talk to whoever about whatever you want.  It’s your life, the narcissist is only a part of it.  If that person wanted you to speak kinder about or to her, she should behave better.

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Coping When Narcissists Hit A New Low

I got quite the surprise this past Christmas.  A letter from my parents’ attorney arrived in the mail two days before Christmas.

 

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Pretty special, huh?  Notice it was sent both regular & certified mail.

 

I’m sharing this not only for entertainment value (really- how bizarre is this?!) but also to remind you that there is no low that is too low for any narcissist & to help you to cope when things like this happen to you.

 

To cope, you need to think logically not emotionally.  You certainly will need to deal with the anger or hurt or whatever you feel, of course, but when trying to find the best way to deal with a bad situation, it’s best to leave emotions out of it as they can cloud your judgement.  Look at the problem from all angles & ask God for help figuring out ways to cope.  One way that might help is if you think of the problem as if a friend came to you with it- what would you tell that friend?

 

Also trying to understand the motivation behind the actions, because that can help you.  I firmly believe everything narcissists do boils down to gaining narcissistic supply.  Once I realized that, it helped me not to be as hurt or angered (because what they did wasn’t personal- it was to benefit them), or to be manipulated.

 

To show what I’m talking about, I thought I’d share my thoughts about this letter:

 

Notice the timing.. as I said, this arrived two days before Christmas, the last possible day to get anything in the mail before Christmas day.  Growing up, I loved Christmas.  My mother thinks I still do, & never believed that I have grown to hate it.  It’s safe to assume the timing was an attempt to ruin my holiday.  If she thinks she ruined my holiday, that’s narcissistic supply.

 

Check out the wording in the letter.  The lawyer could have mentioned asking me about the car on my mother’s behalf without the attempt to manipulate me & the comments such as “accept this as a heartfelt expression of her love.”  Totally unnecessary.  That was flying monkey behavior which means it has no basis in truth & reality.  Why should I take anything he said seriously under such circumstances?!

 

Also.. as I said, it came from an attorney.  Seems obvious to me that was meant to shake  me up a bit.  Who wouldn’t be upset seeing a letter from an attorney in their mailbox & then a notice it was also sent certified mail prior to learning the contents of the letter?!  More potential narcissistic supply for my mother- upsetting me.

 

I also think it’s safe to assume that being from her attorney was an attempt by my mother to force me to deal with her.  Manipulation attempt/more narcissistic supply.

 

When I first got this letter, it did shake me up, I’ll admit it.  I was livid my mother would go to this extent to try to get me in touch with her when it’s very clear I want no parts of her in my life.  But, after some time to pray, calm down & think clearer, I realized the things I mentioned.  This letter wasn’t a huge deal like it felt like at first.  It simply was my mother’s means of attempting to manipulate me & gain her precious supply.  Realizing all of this meant I was able to relax & decide the best way to handle the situation properly.

 

Dear Reader, I’m sure if you haven’t faced some especially low behavior from the narcissist in your life, you will.  It’s how they operate.  When that happens, please consider this post.  Deal with your emotions but not while trying to consider how to handle the situation.  Pray & use logic.  It will help you to understand what’s happening, which will enable you to come up with the best solution.

 

Oh, & if you’re interested.. I did write back to the attorney about a week later.  All I said was “Regarding your recent letter about my mother, I don’t want my father’s car.”  I decided that I should respond rather than take a chance of my mother finding other ways to harass me about this situation, since I’ve had enough harassment to last a lifetime.  I did so in my own timing, however, to let her know she can’t make me do anything her way.  I also decided it’d be best to acknowledge NONE of the flying monkey nonsense or say anything that could be read into, which is why my entire “letter” lasted ONE sentence.  🙂

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How Narcissists Convince Victims They Are The Problem

Narcissists have a way of making their victims feel like we are the problem.  This is awful for the victims, because as a result, we end up tolerating their abuse for years.  We think they’re good to put up with us, & we try harder & harder to be good enough for them.  Meanwhile, as we’re losing ourselves in trying to please the narcissists, the narcissists are gaining tons of supply.

 

So how does this happen?  How can a person honestly believe they’re the problem when the narcissist clearly is?  Narcissists accomplish this in several ways.

 

Projection.  Narcissist always accuse others of their own flaws.  This makes a person feel inadequate.  A person may even become angry but feels they don’t have the right to be angry since they are the flawed one.

 

Narcissists don’t examine their behavior, only yours.  If you’re angry with a narcissist, all that narcissist sees is how you’re acting.  They don’t ask themselves why you’re angry or is it something they’ve done.  They see you acting in a way they consider irrational, & make you feel crazy for your behavior.

 

They gaslight.  All narcissists love gaslighting their victims.  Gaslighting is basically when you say the sky is blue, & the narcissist says it’s clearly green & something is wrong with you for thinking otherwise.  Granted, that is an extremely obvious example, but that’s pretty much how gaslighting works.  Narcissists see the same thing you see (that blue sky) but don’t want you to see it that way.  Rather than agreeing that the sky is blue, they’ll tell you it’s green & try to make you feel crazy for thinking it’s blue.  Narcissists do this often with abusive things they have done.  They may deny the events happened entirely, or try to convince you that they happened in a very different way.

 

Narcissists provoke their victims to rage while maintaining their cool.  One primary feature of narcissism is their complete lack of empathy.  This enables narcissists to feel no guilt or remorse for abusing a victim.  This also means they can maintain their calm demeanor while simultaneously driving a victim to the brink of madness.  When this happens, a victim feels insane.  After all, the victim is the one screaming & crying while the narcissist is cool & collected.  The victim looks crazy to herself & anyone else who may be witnessing this phenomenon.

 

If you’re in a relationship of any sort with a narcissist, these things are most likely happening.  When they do, please remember this post & remind yourself that you are NOT the problem!  The narcissist is only trying to make you think you are!

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When People Say Ugly Things About You

When people tell you you’re stupid, crazy, ugly, etc., there is a reason for it, & it isn’t what you think.

 

A person saying such things to you doesn’t necessarily believe that you are those things.  In fact, most likely they don’t believe it at all.  Quite the contrary, they think you are intelligent, attractive, etc.

 

So why would a person say such awful things to another when they don’t believe them to be true?  There are two very distinct possibilities.

 

Control.  A person with low self-esteem is much easier to control than someone with healthy self-esteem.  The more a person is beaten down, thinking they are stupid, worthless & other awful things, the easier that person is to control because they assume the controlling person knows best.  Also, a person with low self-esteem will work as hard as they can to get love & approval.  This works nicely for the controller because she can get anything she wants from the victim.

 

Projection.  Narcissists love to project their flaws onto others.  If the narcissist is a liar, she will accuse you of lying.  Overeats?  She’ll call you a glutton, pig or fat.  By doing this projection thing, it allows the narcissist to be angry about the flaw while not accepting that they have it.  It is just one in their arsenal of horrible coping skills.

 

The next time someone says terrible things about you, take notice.  There is a very good reason for it, & chances are that it isn’t that they are offering you constructive criticisms in order to help improve you.

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Subtle Tactics Narcissists Use To Abuse

When most people think of narcissists, they think of someone loud & obnoxious, who is obviously abusive.  That isn’t always the case however.  Some tactics narcissists use to abuse their victims are very subtle.  So much so that when they happen, a victim may not give them a moment’s thought.  That doesn’t make these tactics any less abusive.

 

Trying to “fix” your appearance.  This can be done in very subtle ways, such as suggesting what foods you can eat to help you lose weight or what clothes would look better on you than what you normally wear.  It’s a way to shame your looks disguised as offering helpful suggestions.  It’s also a good way to make someone look like what the narcissist wants that person to look like.

 

Isolation.  Whether the narcissist in your life is a parent or spouse, it’s a safe bet that person wants to isolate you.  They may say things like, “She isn’t really your friend.  If she was, she would/wouldn’t ….”  “I heard he said …. about you.  It was a terrible thing to say, especially since he’s your brother!”  “They don’t like me.  It really hurts me you’d be friends with people who obviously hate me.”  The fewer people in your life, the easier you are to control.  You won’t be able to talk about your situation with anyone, so no one can tell you what he or she is doing is wrong.

 

Disrespecting your boundaries.  It starts out small.. a little compromise you don’t object to.  Then it’s another, slightly bigger compromise, then another & another.  Before you know it, you aren’t allowed to have any boundaries.  The old saying, “give him an inch, he’ll take a mile” is the absolute truth with narcissists.

 

Making you doubt yourself.  “Are you sure you said that?”  “No, I don’t think you really want that.  I think you’d prefer….”  Subtle phrases like this are nothing but gaslighting.  They make a person doubt their perceptions, feelings, & opinions.  It’s a very subtle way of tearing a person down mentally & emotionally.

 

Using anger to control you.  In romantic relationships, they hide their anger until they are comfortable that you’re in it for the long haul, then they start using their anger suddenly.  Overt narcissists often will scream & rage, sometimes for hours.  Covert narcissists give quiet displays of their rage- they give the silent treatment, give disapproving looks, tell other people how cruel you are to them & play the victim.  Some narcissists will punch walls or take their anger out on inanimate objects as a way to intimidate you.  My ex husband did this & told me how lucky I was he took his anger out on our microwave instead of me.

 

If someone is doing these things to you or someone you know, it’s abuse, plain & simple!  You have every right to protect yourself from this type of behavior, no matter who is doing it.  Take back your power!  Set & enforce your boundaries.  Leave if the person becomes angry, especially if you’re afraid for your safety.  Rekindle old friendships the narcissist forced you to abandon. Start a journal if you don’t currently have one, & keep track of the things the narcissist says- seeing things in writing may give you more clarity.  Most of all pray.  Ask God what you should do in this situation.  He will guide you & give you creative ways to handle it or the strength to go no contact.

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How To Cope With Smear Campaigns

When something happens with a narcissist, either an argument or you go no contact with them, they almost always start a smear campaign against you.

 

A smear campaign is when the narcissist tells anyone who will listen how cruel & unreasonable you were to her, how she doesn’t understand how you can treat her this way after all she did for you & other similar nonsense.  She may even add in lies, such as you’re mentally unstable or an addict to discredit you to the listener.

 

It’s only normal to want to defend yourself against such nonsense.  It hurts when people believe these lies, especially when those people are close to you.  Any normal person would want to convince those people that what the narcissist said about you was nothing but lies.  However, this is not a good idea!

 

By speaking out against the narcissist’s lies, it only serves to convince those who believe the lies that the narcissist is right.  They think you are crazy, jealous, bitter, unreasonable or other awful things that the narcissist said you are.  It’s not fair, but it’s how this situation works almost every single time.

 

The only way to defend yourself successfully against a narcissist’s smear campaign is not to defend yourself.  Although it sounds counterproductive, please hear me out.

 

Everything narcissists do boils down to them trying to gain narcissistic supply.  Any strong reaction from you, whether it’s positive or negative provides them with supply.  By creating this smear campaign, they are hoping to provoke anger & even hatred from you since that would provide supply.

 

The smear campaign is also done to discredit you in case you start speaking about the things the narcissist did to you.  If they can make people think you’re crazy, unreasonable, etc., people won’t believe what you say about the narcissist.  The narcissist’s reputation will be protected while yours is ruined, if the campaign goes as well as they expect it to.

 

By living your life as if nothing is happening, you’re depriving the narcissist of her precious narcissistic supply, which means she will get bored with you & leave you alone at some point.  You also are creating doubt in those who believe the smear campaign.  They will see that you act as a normal person, & start to wonder if the narcissist is really right about what she said.  You sure don’t seem crazy, unstable, etc. like the narcissist said.  Maybe what she said about you isn’t true after all.  In fact, the narcissist’s mask may fall off entirely, & others will see the monster under the mask.

 

So remember, Dear Reader, when this happens to you (& it will at some point if you’ve had a narcissist in your life), ignore the smear campaign!  Although it bothers you, never let that show.  Vent to safe people close to you, journal about your feelings & as always, pray, but do not let your hurt, anger or frustration show to anyone involved in the smear campaign!

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The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

A recent conversation with my husband gave me an interesting revelation.

 

He said when I talk about the traumatic things I’ve been through, it’s almost always what my parents did rather than how I feel or how things affected me.  He’s right.  I immediately chalked that up to having C-PTSD.  The disorder means sometimes I have to talk things to death to come to some sort of terms with them.  However, I felt there was something I wasn’t realizing about this.  God revealed to me what it is.

 

Surviving growing up with narcissistic parents instills a need for constant validation in a person.  That is why I talk more about the things they did rather than my feelings.  I can handle my feelings just fine on my own.  What I need help with is understanding exactly how bad my parents have been to me.

 

When you’re raised by narcissists, your reality is much different than real reality.  In my case, I learned my mother was always right & should get whatever she wants even if that means hurting me.  I learned my father is very helpless, & couldn’t do anything to take care of me or protect me from my mother’s abuse.  I also learned very early in life that my parents’ emotional needs were my responsibility.  I was to have no needs or feelings of my own since that could be a distraction from them & their needs & feelings.

 

Pretty messed up, huh?

 

Thankfully, as an adult, I’ve learned how wrong, dysfunctional & abusive these things are.  Even so, I still battle them to a degree simply because these beliefs were very deeply instilled in me.  If I tell someone about some awful thing my parents did to me & they get angry & say things like, “That was terrible!  It was wrong to do that to you!” their outrage helps to validate my pain & tear down those false beliefs.  An objective third party seeing that they were wrong & I wasn’t to blame (as I always was with my parents), is a huge help to me!

 

Are you like me?  When you discuss the abuse, do you discuss more about the events than how you feel about them?  Or, do you seek validation frequently by asking people if your perception or feelings are OK?  If so, know there is nothing wrong with you, even though it may feel that way.  It’s just one more thing that narcissistic abuse can cause in a person.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Accept it for what it is, & ask God to help you heal.

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Never Justify Or Excuse Narcissistic Abuse

If you’re in the unenviable position of having a narcissist in your life on a regular basis, you have to do all you can to protect your mental health.  Narcissists do their level best to obliterate a person’s self-esteem & sometimes even their sanity.

 

One important way you can protect your mental health is not to make excuses for their bad behavior.

 

It might just be human nature, but people often want to justify someone’s bad behavior.  In many cases, that’s fine.  When someone cuts you off in traffic, maybe he didn’t mean to be a jerk, he was just in a hurry.  When your best friend snaps at you, it’s probably because her stressful job is getting to her- she didn’t mean to hurt you.  Small things like this it’s easy to forgive & forget.  They aren’t a big deal because the chances that person meant to upset or hurt you are virtually non existent.

 

With narcissists however, this isn’t the case.  Their entire existence revolves around getting narcissistic supply in any way they can.  If people are hurt in the process, so be it.  That doesn’t matter to a narcissist.

 

I used to make excuses for the behavior narcissists in my life.  As a child, I told myself my narcissistic mother was simply overprotective, not manipulative & controlling to an extreme.  When my father did nothing to protect me from her abuse, I told myself he just couldn’t do anything.  It’s not his fault.

 

It took me a long time, but I’ve finally accepted the truth- that there is no excuse for narcissists to behave as they do.  They know what they’re doing & if they didn’t, they wouldn’t work so hard to hide their behavior.  They also know the difference between right & wrong- they just don’t care.  Yes, these are some ugly truths, but they are also truths you need to accept about narcissists.

 

Making excuses for a narcissist’s behavior only benefits the narcissist, never a victim.  Excuses show the narcissist that you will tolerate their abuse without complaint & excuse it away.  This basically gives them the green light to do whatever awful things to you they want to do.

 

Excuses also imprint in your mind that you don’t have the right to speak up, that you must tolerate abuse, because the narcissist has a good reason for behaving that way.  This is absolutely NOT the truth, & you do NOT need to believe that it is!

 

Excusing a narcissist’s behavior is basically gaslighting yourself.  You’re lying to yourself, telling yourself the behavior is normal or understandable when it’s anything but.  You get enough gaslighting from the narcissist- don’t add to it by excusing her behavior.

 

Remember, Dear Reader, narcissists abuse for one simple reason- themselves.  They want narcissistic supply.  There is no excuse for that.  Don’t tell yourself otherwise!

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Engulfing & Ignoring Narcissistic Mothers

There are two types of narcissistic mothers- ignoring & engulfing.

 

As the name implies. the ignoring narcissistic mother ignores her child.  The child’s interests, needs, & feelings mean virtually nothing to the mother.  She may meet her child’s basic needs for food, clothing & shelter, but it is done grudgingly.  Other needs such as teaching & nurturing aren’t met.  The ignoring narcissistic mother simply doesn’t want to be bothered with her child.

 

Engulfing narcissistic mothers are the polar opposites of ignoring narcissistic mothers.  They are deeply involved in every aspect of their child’s life.  They control how their child dresses, the child’s interests & even friendships (if friends are allowed, that is).  Engulfing narcissistic mothers see their child as an extension of themselves, so they do their best to mold them into what they want the child to be.  What their child wants is of absolutely no importance.  This is the type of mother I grew up with.  I wasn’t allowed to choose my own clothes even in high school- my mother had to approve everything.  I wasn’t allowed to spend time away from her other than at school or work, & even then, she would often spend my lunch hours with me during my last two years of high school.  Everything about me was scrutinized & criticized.

 

Both ignoring & engulfing narcissistic mothers also get upset as their children get complements.  Narcissists are known for being incredibly envious, especially when it comes to their children.  When their child is complemented, they will tell the child the person was lying or reasons why the complement was wrong.  Narcissistic parents do NOT want their children to feel good about themselves even for a moment.  The worse a child’s self-esteem, the easier that child is to control.

 

Once the child of an engulfing narcissistic mother gets older, big problems really begin.  As a child grows up & naturally becomes more independent, narcissistic mothers take this as a betrayal.  They want their children to stay young & obedient forever.  Growing up is unacceptable, & narcissistic mothers often act like their child is doing it simply to hurt them.  Ignoring narcissistic mothers seem to be more relieved that their child is no longer their responsibility anymore, although some do get angry their child is becoming an adult & harder to control.

 

Once the child becomes an adult, engulfing narcissistic mothers continue to try to be engulfing.  They try to monopolize their adult child’s time, even if the child has a spouse & kids.  They demand their child spend holidays, birthdays & special occasions with them.  They demand their child frequently visit them.

 

Ignoring narcissistic mothers often carry their lack of interest in their child into the child’s adulthood.  They often even show little to no interest in their grandchildren.  Or, they may show some interest in them until the grandchild is old enough to start forming her own likes, dislikes, opinions & personality.

 

Interestingly, often narcissistic mothers swing back & forth between ignoring & engulfing.  This is especially confusing for their child because of the very mixed signals they send.

 

Both types of narcissistic mothers create a great deal of pain for their children.  My mother was an engulfing mother & her mother was ignoring.  She used to tell me how she always knew her mother never wanted her, from the moment she found out she was pregnant with my mother.  She worked her entire life trying to gain her mother’s approval, which never happened.  Heartbreaking, isn’t it?  Yet, my mother went on to go in the complete opposite direction with me, which caused me awful anxiety, low self-esteem, C-PTSD & more that I still live with even in my mid 40’s.

 

Whichever type of narcissistic mother you had, I hope this post reminds you that she was the problem, not you.  Nothing you did or didn’t do could have made her treat you as she did.  xoxo

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When Flying Monkeys Attack

Recently, I posted a message to those who support narcissists, their flying monkeys.  That post got a lot of attention.  There are a lot of flying monkeys out there & even more people wanting to learn about them.

 

I’m sure many people who deal with flying monkeys also feel guilt or second guess their decision to go no contact with their narcissist.  We all do at first.  It’s normal.  This post is for those of you feeling that way, to help you to see exactly why you shouldn’t feel any guilt or second guess yourself when the flying monkeys come knocking on your door.

 

Most flying monkeys are covert narcissists, getting their own narcissistic supply from trying to manipulate you on behalf of your narcissist.  And, being true to their narcissistic nature, they’re only interested in themselves.  Do you really think someone who refuses to consider anyone but themselves is capable of giving any good advice?

 

Flying monkeys are incredibly bossy.  They think it’s perfectly acceptable to tell you what to do, even if they don’t know you or haven’t spoken to you in years.  Why listen to someone who is not only incredibly rude but also obviously uncaring about others?  Do you really think someone like that has your best interests at heart?

 

There’s also the fact that flying monkeys only know what the narcissist has told them about your situation.  This means what they think are facts are lies, since narcissists lie about everything, especially if there’s a chance they can make themselves look good & someone else look bad.  How can someone who knows no truth of your complex situation give you sound advice about it?

 

Flying monkeys also never ask for your side of the story.  Rarely, they may say they want you to talk to them about it, but if you say anything, they tell you that you’re wrong & why.  This clearly proves the flying monkey isn’t interested in the truth or this relationship being healthy!  They simply want to manipulate you into resuming the relationship with the narcissist as it was, abuse & all.

 

They want you to subject yourself to abuse by being in a relationship with a narcissist.  How does that make any sense!?  It is a sick, twisted, & evil person who wants another person to be abused!  Normal people want others to be happy & safe, not abused.

 

Another thing to consider: why do flying monkeys think your well-being is so unimportant anyway?  What makes these people think that the narcissist is so much more important than you?

 

Flying monkeys also think you’re the one that needs to fix this.  How?  Who knows?  They don’t even know how you can do that, but they still think you should know & fix it.  Besides, how can only one person fix any relationship?  Any person with more than three brain cells knows that it takes two to make a relationship work, not one.  One person alone can’t make it happen!

 

Dear Reader, after reading this I hope you see why you have no valid reasons to feel guilty or second guess yourself when the flying monkeys come after you.  You do whatever you believe is right in order to protect yourself!  Narcissistic abuse is incredibly destructive & painful- NO ONE should tolerate it no matter what & who thinks they should, even if it’s because the abuser is “family”.

 

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Why Do Narcissists Need Flying Monkeys?

Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse also has been subjected to flying monkeys.

 

Flying monkeys are those people who either have fallen for the narcissist’s act, blindly believing anything the narcissist says or are abusers themselves, likely covert narcissists, who get a thrill out of vicariously abusing the narcissist’s victim.  They often say things like…

 

  • “Your mother is worried about you.  You haven’t called in a while & she doesn’t know why..”
  • “I know your father hurt you when you were growing up, but he didn’t mean to.  He did the best he could.”
  • “You need to just forgive & forget.  After all, your mother was abused when she was growing up!  She doesn’t know any better!”

 

These people are indispensable to narcissists, which is why all narcissists have them.

 

Flying monkeys can reach a victim once that victim has gone no contact with the narcissist.  When a victim doesn’t speak with a narcissist, they often will talk to a flying monkey, at least for a while until they discover that this person is a flying monkey.  During that time, the flying monkey can tell the victim whatever the narcissist wants her to, becoming the mouthpiece for the narcissist.  They can say things a narcissist can’t say without looking bad.  The flying monkey also benefits from doing this.  If she is deceived about the narcissist, she honestly believes she is doing good & trying to help the victim.  If she is also an abuser, this gives her a thrill by abusing without being blamed for being abusive.  Covert narcissists make good flying monkeys, because by doing so, they get to feel powerful- something all narcissists love.

 

Speaking of feeling powerful, narcissists enjoy having flying monkeys because it means they’re controlling another person.  Controlling others makes them feel powerful.

 

Flying monkeys do all the dirty work for the narcissist.  The victim often will get mad at the flying monkey rather than the narcissist who is pulling the strings.  The flying monkey is the one who will look bad rather than the narcissist.  This is a bonus for the narcissist since no narcissist wants to look bad.

 

If the flying monkey is especially good at what they do, & the victim isn’t strong at resisting the narcissist, the victim will come crawling back to the narcissist.  That is the ultimate goal of the narcissist, of course.  Using one person to control another is quite the power trip!  Any narcissist would love to have this ability.

 

Flying monkeys are a very useful tool for any narcissist, so beware.  If you know a narcissist, you are going to have to deal with them at some point.  Be alert.  Be aware of their behavior so you can spot them easily.  Never feed them by engaging them in a discussion about the narcissist.  Refuse to discuss the topic with them, changing the subject as often as necessary & telling them this topic is not up for discussion.  And most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you to discover the best way to deal with this person or if you need to end this relationship.

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When Your Narcissistic Parent Goes No Contact With You

At the time of writing this, my mother hasn’t spoken to me in just under 10 months, my father in 2 months.  They both used to call me constantly, so the silence is something I’m still getting used to.

 

Prior to them stopping speaking to me, I had decided I wanted to go no contact with them.  The odd thing was I felt God didn’t want me to say it to them.  He wanted me to continue to get healthier, enforce my boundaries & stay low contact.  When we had an argument last May 5, I lost my temper, & God told me He wanted that to happen.  He said it’d make my parents want to stay away from me when they realized I’m not so easy to push around anymore.  Has it ever!

 

Although I’m grateful, it still hurts that my parents clearly have decided that I’m not worth speaking to because I defended myself to them.  Since it happened, I’ve done a lot of praying & researching on the topic.  I’ve learned there is virtually no information out there for those whose parents have cut them off.  Almost all the no contact information I could find was for adult children who have gone no contact with their parents.

 

The last few days, I’ve been especially depressed & anxious in spite of some good stuff happening in my life.  It really hurts that my parents cut me off, even though I know it’s for the best.  So, I started praying more about it & God showed me some things.  I thought I’d share them here since there are plenty of us whose parents have cut us off, & there is so little information available for people in this position.

 

When normal people implement no contact, it isn’t to punish anyone- it is to protect themselves from further abuse.  When narcissists do it, there is much more to it.  After all, whatever you did to “deserve” them going no contact (at least in their warped minds), caused a grievous narcissistic injury.  Anything causing a narcissistic injury is going to be met with some type of narcissistic rage.

 

Narcissists use no contact to cause their victim pain.  Basically, it’s a version of the silent treatment.  It’s to let the victim know that they are irrelevant.  The victim’s side of the argument is also so irrelevant that the narcissist doesn’t want to waste time listening to it.  The victim isn’t even worth the narcissist acknowledging.  It’s a cruel rejection, especially coming from a parent.  Narcissistic parents reject their children their entire lives.  This is just one more rejection added onto the pile.  It really hurts, & that is normal!

 

It’s shaming.  Narcissists love to shame their children, no matter the child’s age.  By going no contact with you, they aim to make you feel that you are so bad, even your own mother &/or father can’t tolerate you.

 

Their version of no contact is also an attempt at control.  The narcissist’s goal is to make you run to the narcissist, apologize for whatever you said or did, or didn’t say or do, & give the narcissist whatever she wants to make up for your “cruelty”.

 

Narcissists can’t deal with conflict.  If the no contact came about after an argument like mine did, it’s not surprising.  The cold, hard, & painful truth is a narcissist would prefer to cut off their own child rather than work through conflict, admit that they were wrong or even simply to try to see the situation from their child’s perspective.  That’s what’s happening with my parents, & many other narcissists are the same way.

 

By going no contact, the narcissistic parents can look like the victim.  They can tell people that you were so cruel, so abusive, that they had no other choice.  Often narcissists would prefer to avoid going no contact since it also potentially could make them look bad, but when they are in the position, they’ll work it to the best of their ability.  They’ll gain pity from their flying monkeys or anyone who will listen with their tales of how mean & unreasonable you were.  Devoted flying monkeys may come out of the woodwork & go after you, doing the narcissist’s dirty work for them by telling you what a horrible person you are for doing whatever you did.  That way, the narcissist can still hurt you without having to be in contact with you.  Narcissists love this- they get to hurt you & manipulate another person into doing it for them while they look innocent.  It’s really a perfect trifecta for narcissists.

 

I realized something else… even knowing such things, it really hurts when your parents don’t speak to you no matter how cruel they are!  I know beyond a doubt this is for the best for me, & that God wants my parents out of my life.  I know they would hate the successes I’m having with my writing lately- not only the material I write about but the fact I’m having success.  (My parents clearly hate when things go well for me.)  I don’t even miss my parents & am enjoying the lack of their drama.  I’m enjoying the peace & lack of criticisms, nastiness, & manipulation.  So what is my problem?!

 

I’m grieving.  Not the loss of my parents but the fact that they prefer to be “right” & have me out of their lives rather than talk about our problems.   Also the fact that my mother’s & my birthdays are coming up next month.  There will be no celebrating together.  My parents might send a card like they did at Christmas, but I know it won’t mean they want to work things out- it’s only to make them look good.  Mother’s day is coming in May, Father’s day in June & I have no need to get cards.  Yes it was hard to find rather generic, “have a nice day” kind of cards, but at least it meant I still had parents.  Now?  I feel like an orphan.

 

Dear Reader, if your narcissistic parents have stopped speaking to you, please know you’re not alone.  I’ve spoken with a few people recently who have experienced the same thing, even those who are in similar situations to mine, feeling they wanted to go no contact, but felt God wanted them to refrain from telling their parents that.  Why God asks that of some of us, I don’t know, but I do know He has a very good reason for it.  That you can be absolutely certain of.

 

Also, remember how much God loves you.  He is there during this difficult time.  He will comfort you when it hurts.  He will give you wisdom on what you should do.  Trust in Him to help you get through.  Unlike your earthly parents, God truly is a loving, kind, caring, generous parent.

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Narcissistic “Breadcrumbs”

Many years ago when married to my ex husband,  I was really sick with the flu.  I was miserable.  Between being sick & living with our failing marriage (for which he blamed me completely), it wasn’t a nice time.  A couple of days into the flu, he came home with a get well card for me.  I was so happy!  I never got get well cards, or cards of any type from him.  I opened the envelope & took out the card.  He hadn’t even bothered to sign it or seal the envelope!  He simply bought it, put it in the envelope & handed it to me.  At the time, this made my day & brightened my awful mood some.  Looking back though?  I realize I was content with narcissistic breadcrumbs.

 

One thing narcissists have in common is training their victims to be content with the breadcrumbs, the bare minimum, the very least they can get away with doing.  The example in the above paragraph is a very good example of narcissistic breadcrumbs.  And, like a good victim, I was content with that because usually, my ex did nothing for me when I was sick or injured.  That unsigned card was the biggest gift he had given me during our marriage.  It didn’t occur to me the only reason he even did this much might be because we were living with his parents & he probably figured bringing me a card would make him look good to his mother.

 

Why would narcissists do the bare minimum?  They are done so you will see they are doing something nice for you & ignore the abuse.  They are merely a distraction by the narcissist so they can continue to abuse you however they like.  You are supposed to be so overwhelmed with this “good” thing that they are doing for you, that you’ll forgive & forget the many bad things they have done.  Remember my example?  Do you really think my joy at receiving that pitiful, unsigned card lasted?  No.  It also didn’t negate the facts he didn’t listen to me or care about me above what I could do for him.  But, it was supposed to.  As if a few years of this would be simply forgotten by giving me a card that he couldn’t even bother to sign.  Narcissists don’t think like normal folks do though- they assume such tiny gestures will overwhelm us with gratitude & distract us indefinitely from the problems at hand.

 

If a narcissist wants something from you, he may do something nice for you before asking you for that favor.  Money is a favorite tool in these situations.  For example, money is tight for you so the financially stable narcissist gives you some money to tide you over until payday.  A couple of weeks later, he asks you to do something for him.  He will remind you of how much he helped you out recently by giving you that money.  “After all I do for you, & you can’t even manage to do this one little favor for me!”

 

 

Narcissists also don’t like to do for other people.  Doing for others means thinking of someone beyond yourself, which is NOT something they care to do.  Why think of someone else when they are so much more important?!  This is partly why they do the bare minimum- the minimum also means they don’t have to think of someone other than them for long.

 

If you “force” them to do something (mind you, by forcing this can mean asking “Would you mind doing ___ for me please?”), you will pay for it.  Asking a narcissist to do something for you, no matter how small, can incite a rage or passive/aggressive behavior.  So if they feel forced to do something nice for you to try to distract you from their behavior, they will resent you for “making” them do it.  The fact you didn’t ask them to do it isn’t important.  In their minds, you made them do this thing & they aren’t happy about it, so they will punish you passive/aggressively by doing the bare minimum.  And, if you don’t appreciate their effort, then they have a valid reason (at least in their minds) to blow up at you.  “Nothing I do pleases you!”  “You don’t appreciate anything!”  “You’re impossible to please!”

 

Narcissistic breadcrumbs are a way of life in a narcissistic relationship.  If the narcissist in your life suddenly is doing something nice for you, then be aware, there is a reason for it.

 

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Saving Face Matters To Narcissists

 

What others think of the narcissist is the most important thing in the world to them, so they will do anything to protect it.  That can include acting like they are the real victim when you confront them on their abusive ways.

 

If you tell a narcissist something they do hurts you, you open the door for a world of gaslighting/crazy making behaviors.  They may rage, scream, cry, use guilt or calmly state why you are the abusive one.

 

 

When my parents & I had our last fight in May, 2016, as I’ve mentioned before, it was because my parents were supposedly upset I hadn’t told them that my mother in-law passed away.  They saw her obituary in the local paper after the funeral was done.  My parents claimed they wanted to attend, but didn’t learn of the funeral in time, which is the only reason they didn’t go.  This hurt me because I’d told them how cruel she had been to me over the years, yet they wanted to “pay their respects” to her?!  I told them I felt betrayed, yet neither understood my feelings.  In fact, when I told them “she treated me like dirt for years!”, both of my parents had the same reaction: “But that’s Eric’s mother!”  My response was, “But I’m your daughter!”  Silence for a few seconds then, “But that’s Eric’s mother!” was the response.  It became crystal clear to me that the fact that was his mother & my parents want to impress my husband mattered much more than the fact they were hurting their own daughter.  Looking like the caring in-laws to the man they want to impress, my husband, was more important than anything else.

 

This is very typical of narcissists.  If taking responsibility for something they have done puts them at risk of looking “less than,”they can’t deal with that.  Shaming you or making you look like the bad guy is worth it, so long as their mask doesn’t slip off.  There is nothing they won’t do to save face.

 

If you confront the narcissist in your life, please be well aware that this can happen to you too.  If it does, remember this isn’t about you!  This is about them protecting their fragile self esteem.  The truth isn’t important, neither is not hurting you.  Maintaining their reputation is all that matters.

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People Who Think They Have The Right To Tell You What You Should Do Regarding Your Narcissistic Parents

Some people will intervene when you have issues with your narcissistic parents.  They will try their best to make you feel guilty if you’re not speaking to them by saying your parent misses you, they are so upset that you won’t speak to them, they don’t know why you’re angry with them or say your parent is sick or elderly so you should end this no contact immediately & rush to their side.  If you’re still in a relationship with them but it is very strained, some people will tell you to fix it, to behave yourself, you need to respect your parent or try harder.

 

These people blindly accept what the narcissistic parent tells them as truth, while giving no thought whatsoever to whether what they say is actually true or not.  They simply accept the lies with no care to what the real truth is.

 

They are one of three types of people:

  1. Incredibly ignorant, genuinely fooled by the narcissist.
  2. Someone refusing to admit the narcissist isn’t the good person she portrays herself as.
  3. Abusers who get a thrill of abusing you along with the narcissist while maintaining the image of someone who isn’t abusive but caring.

 

These people, often referred to as flying monkeys, can be a real nuisance, quite frankly.  To those new to learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they are also dangerous.  They can make these victims feel as if they are wrong for protecting themselves, which can make the victim revert to old, dysfunctional habits.  To those of us who have known about NPD for quite a while, they are simply annoying, like flies on a picnic.  We know the truth & we won’t be manipulated by their antics, but they’re still annoying.

 

Flying monkeys can be dealt with.  The more devoted the flying monkey is to the narcissist, the greater your chances of losing a relationship with this person though, so just be forewarned of that possibility.

 

Always keep calm when talking with them.  Many flying monkeys are covert narcissists.  If you show them any emotional reaction, it will provide them with narcissistic supply which will make them continue pushing your buttons, making you more upset, making them want to continue button pushing & the cycle will continue.  Avoid this by staying calm in their presence.

 

Discuss nothing with them.  The situation between you & your narcissistic parent is not anyone else’s business.  You owe no one explanations for your behavior.  Don’t discuss the topic of your parents with them.  Change the subject.  Tell the flying monkey you won’t discuss that topic with them.  If they persist, tell them you aren’t discussing this topic, & if they continue, you will hang up the phone (or leave the room), then follow through on the threat if need be.

 

Never allow this person to convince you of anything other than the truth.  You were there.  You lived the situation.  You know the truth.  Don’t believe the person who says your narcissistic parent didn’t mean to hurt you, never said/did those things, etc.  Cling to the truth, & ignore their version of it.

 

Accept that the flying monkey believes wholeheartedly that they are right & you are wrong.  You can’t convince this person to see the truth.  Don’t waste your time & energy trying.  You know the truth & that is going to have to be enough for you.

 

If you cannot handle this person, you have the right to sever ties with them.  You have every right to protect your physical & mental health.  Some flying monkeys are incredibly toxic, & there is nothing wrong with you refusing to have them in your life.

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A Reminder For All Children Of Narcissistic Parents

For some reason, I felt strongly that God wanted me to remind my readers of two facts that many children of narcissistic parents struggle with.  I’m sorry this isn’t a new or unique word today.  I firmly believe it is important, & something God wants you to remember though, so that is why I’m sharing it

 

Fact #1:  Your narcissistic parents are NOT your responsibility.  They are adults, entitled to make their own choices (even the bad ones).  It is NOT your job to fix your parents or protect them from the consequences of their horrible behaviors.  Your parents’ lives are 110% their responsibility.

 

Fact #2:  While your parents have the right to live their lives their way, you posses the same right.  You are entitled to live your life however you see fit.  This also includes the right to protect yourself from your toxic, narcissistic parents.  You are NOT being a bad son or daughter by protecting yourself from your parents or refusing to tolerate their manipulations & abuse.  Tolerating abuse is never honorable, loving or good for either the abuser or the victim.

 

I know these two facts can be difficult to remember sometimes, Dear Reader, especially when you’re still in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, but you need to remember them!  They will help you to refuse to accept the blame & responsibility for things that you shouldn’t accept blame & responsibility for.  They also will help you to avoid falling for the cruelty & gaslighting of your narcissistic parents.

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How Narcissists Use Fear Of Consequences To Control

Narcissists are masters of abuse.  They abuse as cleverly as Claude Monet created beautiful works of art.  Sadly, instead of leaving behind beauty as a result of their efforts as Monet did, they leave behind devastation & destruction.

 

A favorite thing for any narcissist to do is to control their victim.  Whether the narcissist is overt or covert matters not in this area, because they all love control.

 

One means to control their victim is to create a fear of consequences.  Naturally, the overt narcissist will use this tactic a bit differently than the covert type, but both use it with equal fervor, & both will send the same messages to the victim: “I’m rejecting you.”  “You’re no good & not worthy of my love.”  “You’re crazy.”  “You will go along with what I want or else face my wrath.”

 

If an overt narcissist wants to control you, she may scream, psychologically abuse or even physically abuse you.  With a covert narcissist, he will give you the silent treatment, attempt to make you feel guilty, attempt to make you pity him or even portray himself as the victim of your abuse.

 

Naturally, victims want to avoid these awful consequences, so they stop whatever behavior triggered the narcissistic abuse.

 

That is how a fear of consequences is born.  Once that happens, the narcissist learns she can repeat those behaviors to control her victim.

 

When a person grows up with a parent doing this, it can be hard to stand up to that parent, even as an adult.  I understand that completely.  However, it must be done!

 

I’m not saying you have to return tit for tat, screaming at your parent or returning their abusive behavior to them (as justified as it might be..).  I am saying that you can & should reject their behavior.  Tolerating it only means you will continue to be abused by that person, which is unfair.  It also sends the message to you & any others who see it that you won’t defend yourself, you don’t matter, it is perfectly acceptable to abuse you & if you will tolerate this abuse, certainly more will also be acceptable to you.

 

With narcissists, often saying something confrontational or even setting a simple boundary isn’t a good idea.  They will use that information to hurt you further by repeating the behavior or they will tell others how cruel you were to them, while continuing the behavior.  You need to know your own individual situation well, so you know when is a good time to speak out, & when isn’t.  Any time I’ve had to deal with my narcissistic parents, I ask God to provide whatever I will need for the interaction.  Wisdom, strength, courage to speak up.. anything He knows I will need.  That has helped me tremendously in knowing when I should speak up & when I shouldn’t.

 

On the times you know in your heart it is best not to speak out, you still can set your boundaries & not tolerate the abuse.  You can hang up the phone or leave the room.  All you have to say is, “I need to go now.  Good bye.”  You don’t owe them any explanations beyond that.

 

You also need to look at their abusive consequences differently.  Getting the silent treatment?  Think of it as a reprieve from drama.  Enjoy it while it lasts!  Is she screaming at you?  Trying to make you feel guilty?  Acting like she’s the victim & you’re the abuser?  Remember, normal people do NOT behave this way!  This just goes to show how messed up the narcissist is.  She is doing these things to make herself feel better by controlling you as well as injuring your self-esteem by putting you down.  If she’s accusing you of being abusive, she is also projecting her own flaws onto you so she can be angry about them while at the same time, rejecting any responsibility for having them.  Looking at things this way helps you not to be as devastated or controlled by narcissistic abuse.  It protects your self-esteem, too, when you understand why these things are being done to you.

 

Also, you need to remember that you are an adult now.  No parent, narcissistic or not, has the right to control their child.

 

And, as an adult, your parent can’t hurt you anymore.  They can’t take away your video games or car keys.  What can that person possibly do to you?  At this stage, they would have to move into illegal actions (stalking, harassment, reporting false claims to Child Protective Services, etc).  Or, they possibly could cut you out of their will so you don’t get an inheritance if your parent dies before you.  Really though, is that a big deal?  It’s only money- you can make your own, & doing that wouldn’t have strings attached to it.  When narcissists give you money, there are always strings attached somehow.  Better to avoid those strings!

 

Dear Reader, if you are still in a relationship with your narcissistic parent, then I urge you to remember such things.  Protect yourself & your sanity as much as you can from your narcissistic parent.  You do not deserve their abuse, & you have every right to protect yourself from it however you see fit.

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Passive/Aggressive Behavior

Do you know someone who is passive/aggressive?  Passive/aggressive behavior is when someone is upset with you, but rather than try to work it out, they deny being upset.  Instead, they do things to hurt or anger you.

 

Over a year ago when my parents came to my home, my mother wanted me to do something for her.  As usual, she ordered me to do it, rather than asked.  For the first time in my life, it ticked me off.  I’m her daughter, not the hired help & I don’t like being treated as such.  So, I responded with “since you asked me so nicely, of course I’ll do it.”  She didn’t say anything, but apparently it sank in.
A few days later, my mother called me, wanting me to look something up on my computer for her.  Rather than her usual demand, she asked me nicely, so I looked it up.  Small victory for me!  I quickly realized though that she wasn’t happy about asking rather than demanding, because she became passive/aggressive.  Her hearing isn’t the best, but she also uses that when it benefits her to do so.  While I was on the phone with her yesterday, about every other sentence at first was “What did you say?  I can’t hear you Honey!”  (Interestingly she only calls me Honey when she is playing deaf, which is how I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what she is up to.)  I was practically screaming into the phone before she suddenly heard me.  However, as the conversation went on, her hearing suddenly became better.  I could speak fairly quietly & she heard me.  Why?  I think partly because I let her ramble on- she gained her narcissistic supply, which pleased her- & partly because she felt that she had satisfactorily let me know she wasn’t pleased with being forced to ask me to do something rather than demand it.

 

During the conversation, my mother also slipped in snide comments about how much she hates scary movies/books.  She doesn’t understand how anyone can like such awful things!  Why was this mentioned out of the blue?  No doubt because she knows I love scary movies & stories.  This is a way to scold me for my “poor choices” without directly doing so.  A way to say I’m wrong without using those exact words.

 

There are other ways a person can exhibit passive/aggressive behavior, such as:

 

  • being sarcastic.
  • withholding praise, affection or intimacy.
  • giving the silent treatment.
  • running late.
  • either not getting around to doing something asked of him/her, or doing it very poorly so you are forced to do it yourself if you want it done right.

 

Does any of this behavior sound familiar to you?

 

A lot of people are passive/aggressive.  It’s a very common phenomenon with narcissists, but I think with non-narcissistic people as well.  It’s a very immature type of behavior, & since there are a great deal of immature people in the world, it’s no wonder it’s quite common.

 

So how do you deal with a person who behaves this way?

 

First, you need to be able to recognize it.  If you don’t recognize passive/aggressive behavior, you’ll end up enabling it.  You’ll ask the person what is wrong, try to make them happy, do what they seem unable or unwilling to do.

 

Next, refuse to play along.  If the person wants to behave badly, that is his/her choice.  If someone is constantly late when you are supposed to get together, tell the person that the next time they are late, you will do whatever you are supposed to do together without that person.  Then follow through on it.  Or, if the person is obviously upset, ask what is wrong.  If she says nothing is wrong, let it go.  Don’t try to pry it out of her- she is an adult & can behave as such if she wants to resolve the issue.

 

Be happy.  Pretend not to notice the other person sulking.  Go on with your day in peace.  It will annoy the other person that her behavior isn’t working as she wanted it to, so she may give up on it.

 

Passive/aggressive behavior is very common on social media.  Vague posts about how “some people” behave or think just after you had a disagreement on that topic, or posting things showing a person is for something you aren’t or vice versa are all too common.  Social media is great, but it can be a useful tool for narcissists & passive/aggressives.  When these things happen, ignore them.  Obviously the person posting what they have wants to make a point without discussing it with you in an adult manner.  Opting to try to discuss it with them would most likely only frustrate you.  Just ignore them.  Unfollow or unfriend them.

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A Little About Flying Monkeys

Isaiah 5:20  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  (KJV)

 

So many people who know the narcissist are completely devoted to that person.  Commonly known as flying monkeys, they will defend the narcissist at all costs, even in spite of glaring evidence of the narcissist’s wrong doings.  From what I’ve seen, this phenomenon is especially common among marriages where one spouse is an overt narcissist & the other covert, but it also happens among child/parent relationships, other familial relationships or even friendships.

 

Whether these people realize it or not, they are condoning & enabling narcissistic abuse.  Sure, they aren’t necessarily holding a victim in place while the narcissist verbally or physically attacks, but they are condoning & enabling it nonetheless!  By not speaking up to the abusive person or by telling the victim things like “You need to honor your mother & father!”  “Just let it go”  “I’m sure she didn’t mean it the way you took it!”  “You’re oversensitive/being dramatic!” they basically are telling the victim, “There is something wrong with you for being upset about being abused!  Let that person abuse you & take it with a smile!”  This can be extremely mentally damaging for a victim!

 

I have been through this myself as well as talked to so many other victims who have experienced similar situations, & all of us have been deeply hurt or damaged by such cruel, invalidating behavior.

 

While the behavior of the flying monkey may seem like they simply don’t know any better or they want to help, the simple fact is their behavior can be very damaging, no matter what their intentions are.  It really is best to avoid them whenever possible & let God deal with them.  He certainly is not pleased with their behavior, & Isaiah 5:20 is proof of that.

 

When it’s not possible to avoid them, there are some ways to cope that may help you.

 

If the flying monkey starts talking about the relationship between you & your narcissistic parent, telling you what you need to do to fix it, it’s time for a subject change.  You can say, “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you,” then change the subject.  Or, you can simply change the subject. You also can say, “If you continue trying to make me talk about this subject, I’m going to hang up the phone (or leave the room)” then follow through on your threat.

 

Sometimes, simply ignoring the flying monkey is the easiest way to cope.  If you get a text or an email, for example, those are easy to ignore.  My mother’s flying monkey has emailed several times about my mother.  Each time she does, I simply ignore her email.

 

Never engage the flying monkey in a conversation about the narcissist.  You WILL regret it.  You’d regret beating your head into a brick wall less than you would talking about that topic with a flying monkey.  Flying monkeys are extremely confident that the narcissist is right, & that you are wrong, bad, mean, etc. & they will say or do anything to try to beat you into thinking the same way.   Do NOT discuss the narcissist with the flying monkey!

 

If you are the crafty type, like to have a little fun & have a kinda warped sense of humor like I do… you can actually crochet your own flying monkey!  I found a pattern for one!  I’m going to make a few of them, because I know seeing them will make me laugh if I have the misfortune of dealing with any flying monkeys.  I already have a name for one in mind- after one of my mother’s flying monkeys.   The link to the pattern is below.  If you end up making one too, I’d love to see a picture & if you name it, would love to know why you chose that name.  You can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com if you’d like.

 

http://www.amigurumitogo.com/2015/11/flying-monkey-amigurumi-free-pattern.html

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Narcissists Want Everyone, Including You, To Believe That You Are The Problem

A very common tactic of narcissistic parents is to make the child & everyone else believe that the child is the problem behind the family’s dysfunction.  This tactic of discrediting & blaming the child serves a twofold purpose.

Purpose #1 is to be sure that all attention is focused on the child so the narcissistic parent can abuse her child unnoticed.  People are so busy looking at the child’s bad behavior, they don’t notice what the parent does to the child to make the child act out.  They also won’t believe the child if she says anything about what the parent does to her.  After all, the narcissistic mother has everyone convinced the child is a liar, disobedient, rebellious, etc. so why would anyone believe what that child has to say?

Purpose #2 is to create so much doubt in the child, that she doesn’t have time to focus on what is being done to her.  She spends so much time thinking about what her narcissistic mother says she is doing wrong, how she can change, what she can do to please her narcissistic mother & more, that she doesn’t question the abuse that is being done to her.

I went through this with my mother as a teenager.  Her friends who once liked me suddenly wouldn’t even make eye contact with me anymore.  One so-called friend of my mother’s even gave me a lecture one day on how lucky I was to have a mother who loved me so much.  I needed to start behaving myself for a change & stop making her life so hard.  (Interestingly, just before that call, my mother had been screaming at me, accusing me of terrible things that I didn’t do.  I sure didn’t feel so lucky!)  I knew I couldn’t say anything to any of them about what my mother was doing to me, because they believed her.

At the time, it hurt me badly.  I liked some of my mother’s friends, & was hurt when they no longer liked me.  In time though, I realized that although it hurt, it wasn’t a bad thing to lose such people.  Normal, intelligent people wouldn’t blindly have believed my mother.  I’d always been a well-behaved, quiet child, so why didn’t anyone question my mother when she said I was doing such outrageous things as taking drugs or having sex with the entire high school football team?  Such things were completely out of character for me- you would think someone would have said so to her, or maybe questioned me.  Neither happened however.  Losing people who so readily believed the worst of me really wasn’t a big loss.

If this has happened to you, please think about what I said in the previous paragraph.  I know it can hurt when people assume you are the problem, but truly, losing people like that isn’t always a bad thing.  You need & deserve people in your life who love you, not people who blindly believe something bad about you then judge & criticize you.  In a way, your narcissistic mother did you a favor.  She helped you to weed out the unsafe people in your life.  Looking at the situation that way can help to take a great deal of the hurt out of the situation.

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Illness In Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Many of us who survived narcissistic abuse have trouble with being sick or injured.  We repeatedly have heard statements like,  “Others have it worse so you should stop complaining!”  “That’s no big deal.  What I have is so much worse!”  “You have a bad back?  It’s nothing compared to mine..”  These kind of things sink in.

As I’ve mentioned here before, last February, I got sick with carbon monoxide poisoning & when I passed out, hit my head, resulting in a concussion.  Since that time, I haven’t fully recovered, & may never do so.  In spite of that knowledge & the symptoms I live with on a daily basis, there have been plenty of times I wonder if I’m faking it.  My husband was floored when I told him that, & he said it’s impossible- I even look different when the symptoms are really bad & I can’t fake that look.

I firmly believe my irrational behavior is a direct result of being raised by a narcissistic mother.

As a child, I rarely saw a doctor or dentist, not even when I experienced anorexia when I was around 10 years old.  Fevers didn’t mean anything, I was fine according to my mother.  She made sure I knew it was hard on her if I had a problem.  Mother’s Day, 1986- I was on crutches & my father had hurt his back.  She has complained since that she had to sacrifice her Mother’s Day waiting on us hand & foot, it was such a hard time for her.  As an adult, any problem I have, she doesn’t believe.  I have had arthritis in my knees since 2002.  I told my father that was why I couldn’t do more to help my parents out sometimes around their home.  He told my mother & her response was to call me later & ask if that was even true.  Have I even seen a doctor?  Did she say I need a knee replacement?  That’s all I need- to get my knees replaced, it’s no big deal.  For 10 years I lived with back pain she caused, yet she accused me of faking.  She would slap me in the back or hand me something heavy every time she saw me.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  If so, please know I understand your pain & frustration & that you are ok!  This is a normal reaction to an abnormal lack of empathy.

I know it is maddening when you are raised this way & as an adult, you don’t even believe yourself that you are sick or injured.  The doctor said you have a problem or you feel the pain, so why do you doubt it?  Then add in feeling that you don’t deserve to take it easy when you need to because someone else has it worse, & you really feel awful.

It’s time to start rejecting what the narcissist says.  Remember, they say nothing to help others- everything they say & do is about themselves.  Your narcissistic mother accuses you of faking your illness?  That’s because she is projecting her bad actions onto you.  She’s faked an illness before.  She says what you’re experiencing is no big deal?  It’s because she doesn’t want to be bothered with your problems, because it doesn’t provide her with the coveted narcissistic supply.

Trust the symptoms are real.  How could you fake them anyway?!  You aren’t doing this for attention or sympathy!  Narcissists do that, not normal, mentally stable people.

Another helpful tip is to read about the disorder or disease you have.  It helps make it more real.  Once I read about Edgar Allan Poe’s experiences with carbon monoxide poisoning, it helped me tremendously!  I realized that someone else felt the exact same way I did, I wasn’t crazy & I wasn’t making anything up!

While you are coming to accept what is happening, also don’t forget to ask God to heal you as well.  He wants you to be happy & healthy!  Allow Him to do that for you!

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Being Feminine Or Masculine

Since I’m female as are the majority of my readers, I’ll write this directed mostly at the ladies, but the information is important for you gentlemen as well.

Narcissistic mothers love to destroy everything they can about their children, right down to destroying their femininity or masculinity.

I’ve always liked so many of the stereotypical girly things along with some more masculine things (like cars) & while growing up, my mother criticized me for them.  I wasn’t feminine enough because I preferred cars to baby dolls, but I was too girly for liking soft, feminine clothing.  I wasn’t really allowed to wear anything too feminine either, & my mother had to approve all my clothes until I moved out.

The result was stifled femininity.  It’s only been the last few years I’ve been letting my feminine side come out, & I feel so much more comfortable!

Can you relate?  Did your narcissistic mother try to destroy your femininity too?

If so, Dear Reader, I’d like to encourage you to take back your femininity!  You won’t regret it!

While I realize some women are naturally less “girly” than others, & there is nothing wrong with that, I’d like to encourage you to take back your femininity as well.  Whatever your level of femininity, it’s yours, & you need to be in control of it, not your abusive narcissistic mother!

So how do you take it back?

For me, I started paying attention to how I felt about feminine things.  I realized some things were more attractive to me when I ignored my mother’s views on femininity.  As an example, my mother only thinks clear, soft pink or mauve nail polish is appropriate.  I started experimenting with other colors.  I now wear almost every color except yellow, red or orange & only because they aren’t good colors for me.  Wearing so many different colors is something I enjoy.

I also realized the stereotypical masculine things I like don’t detract from my femininity.  I love classic cars & drag racing.  I also have no trouble fixing my own car when need be.  I don’t think this affects my femininity at all.  There is nothing wrong with being diverse in your interests!  (Besides, knowing how to fix my car means if I have car trouble, I can make it home, which isn’t a bad thing at all.)

Lastly, I thought about what being a woman, especially a feminine woman, means to me which is what I strive to be.  I think a woman is:

  • Caring
  • Nurturing
  • Generous
  • Loving
  • Helpful
  • Empathetic
  • Encouraging
  • Has integrity
  • Open minded
  • Doesn’t compromise her principles
  • Willing to work hard when needed
  • Has the wisdom to know when she needs to help others & when to step back
  • Appreciates softness
  • Appreciates beauty in all forms
  • Takes care of herself & her appearance
  • Maintains a clean, inviting, cozy home
  • Is always there for her husband, children & others in her life that she loves
  • Is self-sufficient but not too proud to ask for help when needed

Now it’s your turn- what does being a woman (or man) mean to you?

I hope this helps you to let the wonderful man or woman inside you come out!  God made you the way you are for a reason, so why shouldn’t you enjoy every aspect of yourself?

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The Narcissistic Apology

Narcissists rarely apologize for anything, but when they do, you can be certain it isn’t a genuine apology.

A genuine apology doesn’t include excuses. Someone who is genuinely sorry for their actions won’t say you made them act that way. That person also will try to change their ways as they don’t want to hurt you like that again.

All of these are foreign concepts to the narcissist.

Narcissists hate to admit they are wrong, & will go to great lengths to avoid it. They will offer excuses as to why what they did was not their fault, or even blame you for making them do what they did. They love to offer the passive/aggressive type of apology- “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “I’m sorry you think what I did was wrong/unfair/hurtful.” All of these actions show that the narcissist is not genuinely sorry for what she did. Most likely, she doesn’t care that she hurt you & only cares that she accomplished whatever it was she wanted to accomplish.

I also realized recently another trick of the narcissistic apology. My father has done this one many times & it wasn’t until recently I caught onto it. He recently apologized to me for not being there enough for me in my life. I was touched- there was no blame or excuses so I assumed it was a genuine apology.  He apologized for missing my fifth birthday because he had to travel for work. I told him it’s fine- not a big deal, it was just a birthday. He went on to say how terrible it was of him, he shouldn’t have gone on that trip. Again I said it was no big deal. I pointed out how many other birthdays he was there for. It was only one birthday. Plus he did other things for me. By the end of the conversation, he was happy.

While there are times I am more than willing to reassure someone who hurt me, this was not one of those times that was a good option. If someone accidentally hurt me once, fine. Bad things happen sometimes. But this was different. My reassurance would have been providing narcissistic supply.  Unfortunately, I realized this after the conversation, & then I felt conned into telling him he was a good father.

Whenever you hear a narcissist apologize to you, remember- it is NOT a genuine apology! Don’t get your hopes up thinking they might finally see the error of their ways & change. The narcissist’s apology is like every other thing they do- it’s only about narcissistic supply.

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Validate Yourself

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is not an easy thing.  You go through the abuse & somehow survive, only to be victimized further by people who invalidate what you have gone through.

I have heard comments such as…

  • “That doesn’t sound so bad…”(from my high school guidance counselor, referring to my mother screaming at me for hours in my teen years)
  • “You just need to understand her better.”
  • “Nobody’s perfect!”
  • “You need to fix things with your parents.  Get into counseling!”
  • “You need to work things out with your parents.  They won’t be around forever yanno!”
  • (from a different counselor after meeting my mother) “I can’t see you anymore- you’re a terrible daughter!”
  • “You need to find things you have in common with your parents!”
  • “You’re too negative!”
  • “I can’t believe they are that bad!”
  • “Are you even sure that happened?  That’s a pretty serious accusation.”
  • Various excuses as to why my narcissistic parents or mother in-law treated me so poorly such as she isn’t intelligent (she isn’t educated- big difference), her mother in-law didn’t like her, etc.
  • Laughing at my story of being abused.

After hearing such things, I felt victimized all over again.

Victim blaming is very common in today’s society, so it’s not surprising these cruel words & more are said to victims of narcissistic abuse daily.

Unfortunately I don’t believe there is any way to avoid them entirely.  All you can do is use wisdom on who you share your story with.  Even when you do this, sometimes people may hurt you by invalidating your pain.

The fact is though that you can validate yourself.  You can heal from narcissistic abuse even if there is no one to support you but God.

To do this, you need to lean on God.  Talk to Him about how you feel.  He can handle it all & wants to be there for you!  Let Him be!

As for you.. you need to trust that what happened was bad.  Admit it to yourself.  No more excuses, no more telling yourself you’re oversensitive or weak.  Narcissistic abuse permeates every part of a person’s being.  It can destroy one’s self-esteem, perception of reality or even sanity.  It is nothing to take lightly!   If you’re having trouble with this, write your story out.  When I wrote my autobiography “Emerging from the Chrysalis” a few years ago, it was hard.  Very hard.  For the first time, I realized just how bad the abuse I have survived really was.  Yet, as hard as it was to see things in black & white, it was very freeing too.  It gave me a new perspective.  I realized I’m a very strong person.  I also realized God must love me a great deal to have gotten me through all of that.  It also helped me to see my parents as they truly are, instead of making excuses for their behavior or thinking I was the one with the problems- I really wasn’t oversensitive, overreacting, reading too much into things, etc.  They have some serious problems & one of those problems is NOT me!

Once you are able to accept the truth about what you have gone through, healing will come.  You will grieve, you will be angry, but these are necessary steps to freedom from narcissistic abuse.  And, the more you validate yourself & heal, the less other people’s invalidation will bother you.  I’m not saying it won’t hurt sometimes- it’s only human to be hurt when your pain is trivialized- but it won’t devastate you as it once did.

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Do People Tell You That You’re Crazy, Stupid Or Other Bad Things?

Narcissists love to accuse their victims of awful things.  Crazy, stupid, selfish & more- there is no end to the hateful things a narcissist will call you.  And, like everything else they do, there is a motive behind doing this.

Calling you these awful names doesn’t mean they actually believe you are crazy, stupid or selfish- instead, it gives them power & control.

How, you ask?  Because if you are told you are selfish, for example, you are going to work hard to prove that you are not selfish.  This gives the narcissist power over you because by saying what she did, she made you work harder for her.  She feels better about herself at this point because you working hard to please her shows she has power.  Plus, when she sees that she is able to make you do things, that makes her feel better about herself.

When someone tells you awful things about yourself, you need to think about it.  Constructive criticism is said gently & to help you.  Narcissists however, don’t say things nicely or to help.   They say things cruelly or they imply things rather than say them outright, so if you confront them, they can say something like “I never said you were *fill in the blank*”  “You read too much into things!”  “You have such a vivid imagination!”

The person saying these things.. do they often criticize you?  Do they often try to control you?

If you are having trouble determining what is really happening, ask God for discernment on the matter.

You do not deserve to be mistreated!  If someone is telling you terrible things about yourself that you know are untrue, always remember that it says more about her than you.  Normal people don’t tear down other people, but encourage & empower them instead.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

“My” Truth vs. The Truth

Have you ever heard the phrase “my truth”?  I heard it again recently.  That phrase is said to describe what you believe.  Whether it is really true or not, however, is inconsequential.

This phrase is perfect for describing what narcissists believe.  Their truth rarely resembles the real truth.

I think it is used when someone is trying to convince themselves of something that they know is not true, which narcissists love to do frequently.  If they say something is their truth, it implies the thing is true, so it’s OK to believe.  As an example, my mother believes she was a good, loving, caring mother to me.  That is her truth.  She has convinced herself of it.  It’s how she copes with her guilty conscious.  She knows what she did to me was wrong & rather than accept responsibility for it, she reinvents the past & creates her own truth.  She has convinced others of her truth as well.

I know just how frustrating this is when you know the real truth & others insist that lies are the truth.  Never forget- their truth is just that, theirs.  It isn’t yours.  So long as you know what the real truth is, that is what matters.  Don’t let anyone sway you from what you know to be true.  If you have any doubts, ask God to help you to see what the truth really is.  He will do so!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Welcome To My Blog!